Cebu Bishop Palma urges PNP to follow law in anti-drug war
CEBU CITY, Philippines – As President Rodrigo Duterte returned to the Philippine National Police (PNP) the authority over the anti-drug war, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma urged the police to make sure their approach would be both legal and moral.
“The PNP as a body knows what is legal. We can only say, let us follow the law and let us try to remember that we are one big family,” Palma told reporters Thursday, November 23, at the Archbishop’s Palace in Cebu City.
While he reiterated that the church, in principle, agrees with the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, giving back the lead to the PNP “is an issue that I think should be subjected to scrutiny, reflection, and discernment.”
“We believe that the scourge, the mother of all evil, should be addressed and, in that regard, we agree with the President in addressing the issue against illegal drugs,” Palma said.
The 66-year-old prelate’s tone was calm when asked by reporters on his comment regarding President Duterte’s decision to bring back the PNP to his war on illegal drugs.
Early this year, Palma made a strongly-worded pronouncement on the constant criticism hurled against the Catholic Church by Duterte. Palma said the Catholic Churc leaders would not cease to speak out and oppose the administration’s bloody war on drugs.
On Wednesday, Palma said he leaves the PNP’s approach in the war against drugs to the wisdom of the government. He said the government and other agencies are better off in deciding what is best for the Philippines.
“Whether PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) or PNP, we leave that to the experience and wisdom of those who are in the best position to evaluate the different approaches,” Palma said.
He urged policemen, who might be tempted to take the law into their hands, to always respect lives and follow the law.
“We might have erred at one point in time, but we are still capable of changing for the better, and that is also our hope even for those who are involved in illegal drugs,” Palma said. – Rappler.com